Grad students: Want to learn to be awesome at science communication? Attend ComSciCon

Hey you guys! Applications are now open for ComSciCon, which is a science communication workshop for graduate students. In particular, applications are open for the national workshop, which is an awesome experience.

ComSciCon is three intense days (all expenses paid!) of learning how to better communicate science – whether that’s written, spoken, or multimedia. I attended the first ComSciCon as a grad student in 2013, and it blew me away. The speakers were amazing. The other students were equally amazing. The workshop is cross-discipline, so you’ll meet people from all across the sciences, as well as professionals working in every science communication career area you might be considering. They also invited me back last year as a panelist, and I was honored and excited to get to go back again. I talked about citizen science, but I think I learned more than I taught. Again, if you are considering a science communication career (or even if you’re just passionate about it), you should really try to attend this workshop!

June 9-11 in Cambridge, MA

(Applications open until March 1)

There will be panels on these topics (and more):

  • Communicating with Non-Scientific Audiences through Media Outlets

  • Communicating through Policy and Advocacy

  • Communicating through Creative Outlets and Storytelling

  • Communicating through Education and Outreach

  • Communicating with Diverse Audiences

Caveat and advice: ComSciCon has become very popular and is now quite competitive. The application is short, and last year there were almost 1,000 applications for 50 spots. You will be more competitive if you can demonstrate something you’re already doing in the science communication realm. And you will be most competitive if you can show initiative and/or innovation in conducting science communication (rather than signing up with an established program to do science communication). There’s also an effort at geographical and other types of diversity. So if you have a diversity aspect to your science communication, definitely make that clear in your application.

If you’re just getting into science communication or don’t get accepted to the national conference, you might keep your eye on the “local” ComSciCon events. These are less competitive and they don’t fly you to the host site, but I’ve heard good things about them. There’s an event coming up in May in North Carolina. And previous events have happened in Chicago, Boston, and at Cornell.


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